The markets are lower today as the euro zone continues to dominate the minds of investors. Not even positive retail data can get the market positive in midday trading. Retail sales rose in October by 0.5%. This follows the 1.1% increase in September. Consumers spent more money online as internet companies and mail-order catalogs saw sales rise 1.5%. This is the biggest increase since the beginning of the year.
Europe continues to be the main driving force in the markets today. There was a bit of good news from the region though today. The euro zone grew by 0.2% in the third quarter with Germany’s GDP rising the most at 0.5%. Fears of a recession are affecting European leaders ability to contain the debt crisis. Many economists are criticizing policy makers for implementing more austerity measures on already struggling governments. They argue this will only deepen the debt for these countries.
As of noon, the markets are trading slightly down with the Dow down 35 points, the Nasdaq unchanged and the S&P down 2 points. Gold is also down slightly while Oil is up at 98.57.
Let’s take a look at the most traded stocks as of 12:00 EST today.
Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) is up 0.66% at $6.09 today. BAC has traded 117 million shares so far today. The stock usually trades 293 million shares a day. BAC has been in a downtrend this month and was trading at around $7 a few weeks ago. BAC is currently trading below both its 50 day EMA (moving average) and 200 day EMA. The company has a current market cap of 61.93 million.
Citigroup, Inc (NYSE:C) is down 2.5% today at $27.66. C has traded 31.8 million shares so far today and is looking to finish the day around its daily average of 55.8 million shares. Citi has dipped 4 of its last 5 trading sessions and has fallen about $4 in that period. The company has a current market cap of 81.25 billion.
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) is up 2% today at $25.12. INTC has traded 25.4 million shares with about 4 hours left in the trading day. The stock usually trades 63.1 million shares daily. Intel is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Intel 4004, the world’s commercially available microprocessor. The company has a current market cap of 127.71 billion.
Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) is trading down $0.58 at $12.22, a loss of 4.53%. Shares of ATVI are down today after Vivendi SA said it sold 35 million shares of ATVI. Following this sale, Vivendi’s stake in Activision sits at around 60%. ATVI has traded 19.3 million shares, already double its daily average of 9 million shares. The company has a current market cap of 14.06 billion.
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) is down 1.27% at $10.88 in midday trading. F is trading below average volume today with 19 million shares traded, well below its daily average of 65 million shares. Ford has been trading relatively flat after hitting a high in October of around $12.50. The company has a current market cap of 41.35 billion.